The Red Ten by Tyler James and Cesar Feliciano

Name: The Red Ten, Volume 1
Release date: June 2014
Writer: Tyler James
Artist: Cesar Feliciano
Cover: full color
Interior: full color
Synopsis: When the world's greatest detective is violently murdered, her corporate-backed super team and former sidekick band together to bring her killer to justice. However, the mission goes terribly wrong, and before the night is out, each of the ten 'Heroes' will pay dearly for past transgressions.
The Red Ten is a superhero re-imagining of Agatha Christie's classic whodunnit 'And Then There Were None'. 
This volume collects issues number 0-5 out of 10.

The Deal

I found out about The Red Ten through their Kickstarter campaign where they tried to get the first five (six if you count the 0 number) issues printed. Because the art was already done I decided to get in on it (I usually only get in on Kickstarter projects when the artwork is (nearly) done, saves me doing a lot of waiting around). I bought the Oxymoron hardcover in the same Kickstarter, but that's a whole different review which I'll be making later. 

The Feel

Wow. When I first held this hardcover edition in my hand it felt great. The hardcover opens up perfectly and stays open, without closing on you. I hate when I lose the page I'm reading because the book closes itself. The shiny interior pages really make the colors stand out and brings an extra dimension to the pages. The front cover has a nice shiny finish layer covering the lettering and the blood-red face. You can feel it when you run over it with your fingers. The printer did an excellent printing and cutting job on this book, I can't find any printing mistakes. Even after reading the book several times and opening and closing it repeatedly there are no faults I can find, no loose pages, no wrongly cut pages, no nothing. Very professional printing and binding job.

The Story

A rhyme comes true when the superheroes in this world get killed off one by one by a mysterious assailant. I like that you can read a section of the rhyme and still be surprised at how they die, read the rhyme back to find the death is a perfect match to the rhyme. I'm intrigued by this series and can't wait for the second, and last, volume to come out. The writing is solid, the rhyme it is very well thought out and creates the right kind of vibe. 'You're all gonna die.' That's basically what it says, but the rhyme does it so very eloquently. The feeling of impending doom as a new chapter, and a new part of the rhyme starts. I read the story in one go, my reading tempo upped because I wanted to know who dies next and how they die. 
Our heroes meet their end in unexpected ways. Brilliantly and uniquely executed. I tried to guess which hero was next but I didn't get any of them right, which I think is a good thing. No need to be predictable here. I can only hope the second volume holds the momentum of this first one. It's fast paced and I like that. The characters should feel very familiar to you if you like reading DC comics, most of them in this book are re-imagined from the Justice League. See if you can spot all the counterparts.

The Look

The overall look of the artwork is dark, the light colors mostly come from the different characters and their suits or powers. I like the darkness of it. No good killing everyone in the light. I think the anatomy of the bodies are mostly correct, a small flaw here and there but nothing too mayor. Overall the ripped superhero bodies are well drawn. I am less enthusiastic about some of the faces. Don't get me wrong, they're not bad, they just seem off in one panel and the same character can look awesome in the next one. Really weird for a book with such great art. I had a closer look and it's mostly when the characters are a bit smaller (less than 3 cm's). Maybe there's just too much detail that's crammed into the little space of the face or the pen used is too thick or... Sorry to sound so unsure, but I just can't quite put my finger on where the problem lies. When the heads are even a little bigger there are no anatomical issues. I hope they can improve this for the last five issues. 

The Conclusion

Putting the facial issues aside I think this is a good comic book. The story stands firm and though we've got a way to go before the end is nigh, I think so far this is a very good re-imagining of the classic 'who done it' story. I've not seen it used with superheroes in this manner and that really makes it unique. I would recommend this HC book to you if you like solid stories, superheroes or are a fan of a good mystery (or if you fancy yourself a bit of a Sherlock). I'm looking forward to the 2nd volume of this story line and will definitely get it when it comes back to Kickstarter. 

How to get a copy?

Run to your local comic store. If they don't stock 'The Red Ten' then badger them till they do. If they persist in not getting it for you you can hop on down to the Comix Tribe website and get it straight from the makers or indeed from Amazon USA. A copy of this first hardcover volume collecting issues 0-5 normally costs 29,99 US$. Alternatively you can also get the single issues if you prefer those. If you're not sure if 'The Red Ten' is for you then just have a look-see at the 0 issue for free. It's an introductory issue to all the main characters and has a pinup page per character. It was also made available for FCBD so there are actual no.0 issues out there if you like the paper version better. Your best bet for this would be a site like Ebay as I can't see it in the Comix Tribe shop. 
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